It can be hard to fit enough exercise in when we’re so busy with work, family, and well, life. But there’s good news for dog owners!
Your furry friend could be a great workout buddy, keeping you fit, healthy and motivated while you have fun and bond.
Whether it’s walking, running, or just playing in the backyard, exercising your dog is a great way to get in your daily dose of physical activity. At the same time as fulfilling your responsibilities as a good pet owner.
So grab the leash and take your dog outside!
Exercising With Your Dog
Here are some reasons why exercising with your dog could be the best addition to your fitness plan yet…
Pets and overall health
It’s well known that owning a pet can help promote better health. One reason is that having a dog will encourage you to exercise more, helping you to lose weight.
Studies have shown that pet owners tend to have better general fitness levels than those without pets, and walk almost double the amount each week.
And, it has been suggested that owning pets helps to reduce anxiety and improve mental health and well-being.
The physical contact, the emotional bond and the level of comfort that a dog brings can often help to reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
Exercising together saves time
One of the most common reasons people give for not exercising as much as they should or would like is being short on time. So exercising with your dog is a great way to fit your workout into your daily routine.
Dogs need plenty of exercise as well to stay healthy and happy. And doing it together makes it a fun daily activity, where you can bond and play together at the same time as getting a workout.
Catch your dog’s enthusiasm!
Can you ignore his wagging tail, his big, excited eyes, that little bounce in his step? Enthusiasm is contagious, and having a furry bundle of energy around will keep you motivated even when you’re feeling tired or stressed.
Playing with your dog will help you to feel more energized, making exercise seem more like a fun, social activity than a workout.
One of the best strategies for motivating yourself to get fit is to do it with a friend. And what better friend than one whose enthusiasm and excitement never dies?
A real commitment
Your dog is one workout buddy who will never back out on your plans. He’ll always have time for you!
He will always be ready to go along with whatever you say, and he won’t try to weasel out of exercise with petty excuses.
Getting into a routine with your dog means that you’ll be more likely to stick to regular activity.
You won’t want to let him down. So even if you’d rather watch TV, you’ll be more likely to get up and go for a quick walk for his sake.
Best exercises to do with your dog
The obvious way to get a workout with your dog is to take him for a nice walk. Even just around the block once a day is a good start.
Or if you live near the beach or a nice lake, walking around together can be a pleasant way to spend an afternoon at the weekend.
If you’re more ambitious, and if your pet is up to it, you can even go running or jogging together.
Or, just take a ball or a Frisbee down to the park and play. You can burn 100 calories for just 30 minutes.
Chasing each other around and playing fetch can be more tiring than you think!
Some dogs even enjoy swimming, so that could be an option too.
Be considerate of your pet
Remember that while your dog does need plenty of regular exercise, you will need to adapt the level and intensity to your dog’s abilities and fitness.
If your dog isn’t used to getting much physical activity, start slowly and gradually. Build up the time and intensity of the activity to strengthen your dog’s muscles, fitness and footpads.
Concrete and asphalt are tough on paws, so wherever possible try to walk or run on dirt paths or grass.
And pay attention to how he is feeling. If you’re doing a long or tiring workout, you’ll need to bring water for him to keep him hydrated. And if you see signs that he needs to slow down or stop, look after his needs.